tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 16, 2021 3:30pm-4:01pm PST
answers today. we are here every way day at 3:00 answering you tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. covid and this new variant. now spreading at an alarming rate. what they're seeing already in new york city. the news from florida tonight. dr. jha is standing by here. the other major headline, the cdc panel recommending that americans choose the pfizer or moderna vaccine over johnson & johnson if possible, because of concerns over rare blood clots. and that new variant, omicron, now in at least 39 states, as i mentioned, new york city seeing a dramatic spike in daily cases. broadway shows closing again. reports some restaurants closing, too, because too many workers are sick. dr. fauci and dr. jha on all of this tonight. and what president biden said just a short time ago about the omicron variant, his warning now to americans.
this new round of deadly storms. 23 reported tornadoes in four states this time. at least five people killed. and now this system headed to kentucky again. rob marciano standing by to time this out. the sexual assault allegations tonight against chris noth. the hollywood reporting saying two women have now come forward with separate claims of sexual assault. noth responding tonight. peloton pulling its ad with the actor. the major development involving those american and canadian hostages in haiti. the remaining 12 hostages released. in new york city, the apartment building on fire. the teenager seen climbing out from the fourth floor. the breaking headline as we come on the air tonight involving actor alec baldwin and the search warrant now issued for his cell phone. christmas eve, one week from tomorrow. and your money tonight. where are the deals? our reporter on what to look for right now. christmas apparently coming early for bruce springsteen,
selling his music catalog. the price? it proves he's the boss. and america strong tonight. the president awarding the medal of honor to three soldiers, three heroes. their stories will move you. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. christmas eve is one week from tomorrow. millions of families preparing for the holidays and now we find ourselves dealing with this new variant, spreading very quickly. covid cases surging to the highest point in a year now and tonight, what they're already seeing in new york city already. some broadway shows shutting down. some restaurants reportedly closing because their workers are now sick. and that other major news tonight, a cdc panel now recommending if you haven't had the vaccine yet to choose the pfizer or moderna vaccine over johnson & johnson, if possible, because of concern over very rare blood clots.
tonight, this highly transmissible omicron variant sweeping across the country, now in 39 states and washington, d.c. dr. anthony fauci telling us cases are now doubling every two to three days. long lines for testing here in new york city. the health commissioner saying cases have tripled in just a month. averaging nearly 3,800 confirmed and suspected cases every day, calling the numbers tonight, quote, alarming. this is being seen across the country. from orlando, florida, tonight, they have found omicron in nearly 100% of waste water samples tested this week. samples tested just a week ago, authorities say, did not detect the variant. dr. jha is here to answer your questions. i know a lot of concern, especially with the holidays approaching, but first, the news on johnson & johnson, the vaccine and this new variant moving quickly. abc's stephanie ramos leading us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a cdc panel voting unanimously to recommend that going forward, americans who have a choice should get pfizer or moderna
vaccines over johnson & johnson, after a review of rare blood clots linked to the vaccine. >> they have 15 yeses, 0 nonos. it passes as listed here. >> reporter: nine people have died from thrombosis out of 17 million shots. the blood clots were more clon in women in their 30s and 40s. >> it's very clear that the mrna are just slightly more effective and slightly more safe. so, it makes absolute sense the cdc would recommend the moderna and pfizer vaccines. >> reporter: it comes as health officials are pleading with americans to get vaccinated and boosted, with the omicron variant now spiking across 38 states and d.c. cases doubling every two to three days. >> otherwise, it is inevitable, when you look at the pace of the infections now, that things will get worse as we go into the depth of the winter. and with omicron breathing down
our back, things could get really bad, particularly for the unvaccinated. >> reporter: authorities are urging caution with a new study making headlines tonight, that if true may partially explain why omicron is so transmissible. researchers at the university of hong kong estimate that the omicron virus could multiply 70 times faster in the bronc y'all tubes than delta. the study has not yet been made public for review. today, long lines for testing. new york city bracing itself with a spike in numbers. nearly 3,800 new covid cases every day. >> it is clear that the omicron variant is here in new york city, in full force. >> reporter: the city planning to distribute home covid tests and kn-95 masks, urging residents to upgrade or double mask. covid cases forcing broadway shows like the tina turner musical and "hamilton" to cancel
performances. even some new york city restaurants, because too many workers have come down with covid. an outbreak at cornell university now topping 1,000 cases. many of them omicron. tonight, stanford university, just the latest school to go remote and require booster shots for the spring. and the nfl tightening covid protocols with mandatory masking and virtual meetings. 70 players testing positive this week or exposed, including odell beckham jr. and baker mayfield. in florida tonight, an eye-opening finding in orlando. omicron is already making up nearly 100% of waste water samples taken this week. today, the president meeting with his covid response team. >> the whole point is, omicron is here, it's going to start to spread much more rapidly at the beginning of the year and the only real protection is to get your shots. >> reporter: the cdc now projecting covid deaths could soar 71%, to 15,000 deaths in a
week by january 8th. experts are warning hospitals already overwhelmed by the delta surge could reach their breaking point. >> we literally do not have any icu beds. we have been running rampant up here. >> reporter: in nebraska, hospitals forced to add covid units to make room for sick patients. >> it's been a long day and now we are telling patients that we can't increase their level of care because we don't have the beds. >> reporter: in wisconsin, just 3% of icu beds are available. >> we're stressed. burned out. we're exhausted mentally physically a physically. we're so exhausted and frustrated. >> all of those doctors and nurses on the front lines, very concerned with what they could be seeing from this new variant in the coming weeks. and stephanie, we're going to get to dr. jha on the omicron variant, how quickly it's spreading, but before i do, i do have one more question tonight on this cdc panel and their guidance, saying to choose
pfizer and moderna over the johnson & johnson vaccine, if possible. because of concern over these very rare blood clots. the company responding tonight? >> reporter: exactly, david. johnson & johnson saying they remain confident of its benefit/risk profile of its covid vaccine and david, these blood clots are very rare, but given the choice of vaccines, the cdc panel recommended opting for pfizer or moderna when possible, but stressed that covid itself carries a much higher risk of blood clots. this will now be reviewed by the cdc director. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos with us tonight. stephanie, thank you. we know many of you at home have a lot of questions, particularly with christmas eve one week from tomorrow. families plank get togethers. and so let's bring in dr. ashish jha, dean of the brown university school of public health. dr. jha, always great to have you with us. let's get right to it. we heard from the cdc already that this new variant, omicron, is doubling every two days or so. it's one thing to hear that from them. it's another thing to start
hearing it and seeing it from people in your everyday lives. i'm hearing from a lot of people, family and friends, colleagues, who are seeing this. i'm curious, does this simply underscore just how transmissible this is and has the speed of this been eye-opening even for you? >> yeah, good evening, david. thank you for having me back. the speed of this transmission has been eye-opening for all of us. even in the last week or ten days, it's moved faster than i expected. and it's spreading quite rapidly across the country. >> i wanted to bring up something we heard late this afternoon in new york city. he said, we are seeing a steep rise in cases in new york city, coupled with the omicron variant. he goes as far as saying, upgrade your mask to a kn-95. they are signaling here in new york to take this seriously. >> yeah, absolutely, david. this variant is spreading wid widely. for people who are, you know, i
think vaccinated and protected, it's maybe not as much of a problem, but for a lot of other people, i think getting infected could end up getting them sick, so, i think we absolutely need to take this seriously right now. >> you bring up vaccinations and people who have been boosted, we're seeing the universities for example closing down, going online. hundreds of cases at cornell alone. there's a second part to this and you made me think of this, you know, the students had to be vaccinated just to return to school in the first place. we're also hearing of people who have had the booster still getting this and i bring this up with you, because you've been adamant that this doesn't mean the vaccines and boosters aren't working. it would appear they are in holding back the severity, at least so far. >> absolutely, david. and what we know is that boosters will protect against infections, not perfectly, but whether you've gotten two shots or three, you're much, much better protected against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths and that, at the end of the day, is the thing that we care about most. >> one more question, i menti
mentioned this at the top. christmas eve a week from tomorrow. what would you say to families asking, and i know i talked about this with my own family, if you want to be careful, what should you do, what do you keep in mind, who should you keep in mind? >> yeah, i think christmas eve, christmas day, i think it's possible to gather with family safely. the key, in my mind, is making sure everybody who can be vaccinated is vaccinated. people are boosted. and if there are high risk people, elderly, others, getting everybody a rapid test can make it that much safer yet, david. it's a really important season, i think we can get together, but there are ways of doing it safely. >> dr. jha, very helpful, as always. we sure do appreciate it. in the meantim, we're going to move onto a lot of other news here tonight. this newest round of deadly tornadoes and now this storm system tonight hitting kentucky again, bringing heavy rain, with so many families there simply trying to save what they can from homes destroyed already. overnight, take a look at the pictures. more than 20 reported tornadoes in four states. at least five people killed. this reported tornado in atlantic, iowa. minnesota hit with its first
confirmed tornado in december. small town of hartland, minnesota, hit very hard. dozens of homes damaged. a tractor trailer blown over near lincoln, nebraska. this system still on the move tonight, as i mentioned. senior meteorologist rob marciano tracking it again tonight for us. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. we're still dealing with this historic storm, not just with that tornado in december in minnesota, but several states, winds to 100 miles per hour. we still have wind advisories up for parts of michigan and the northern tier, but that front is dragging its heels and digging in across the ohio river valley. that's where the rain is across the tornado zone. and we have a wave that's going to develop tonight through tomorrow. so, several days of pulses of heavy rain, up through bowling green and lexington and getting a wintry mix by saturday morning. this is not clear of the tornado zone until saturday night. david? >> all right, rob marciano, our thanks to you again. we move on here tonight to sun etling new allegations against "sex and the city" star
chris knonoth. two women have come forward with separate claims of sexual assault. the actor responding, calling the accusations categorically false. here's abc's erielle reshef. >> reporter: one week after returning to the small screen as hbo's mr. big, actor chris noth now facing sexual assault allegations from two women who tell the hollywood reporter they were triggered to come forward by the "sex and the city reboot." both women are choosing to remain anonymous. the first claims noth raped her in his los angeles apartment in 2004 after first kissing her. it was very painful and i yelled out stop, she says, and he didn't. she tells the hollywood reporter she later went to the hospital for stitches. the other alleged incident more than a deck cause later in 2015. a server at a new york nightclub saying she went on a date with the actor and ended up at his apartment. it was there the woman claims
noth forced her to have sex, telling the hollywood reporter, i was kind of crying as it happened. in a statement, noth calls the accusations categorically false, adding no always means no. that is a line i did not cross. >> to new beginnings. >> reporter: today, peloton pulling the viral ad that caused a sensation after noth's hbo character was killed off. the company saying every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously. and noth saying that these encounters were consensual, adding, i did not assault these women. david? >> erielle reshef tonight, thank you. and from haiti tonight, the 12 remaining members of an american missionary group kidnapped two months ago have now been freed. ohio-based christian aid ministries issuing a statement, saying, quote, all 17 of our loved ones are safe. a notorious haitian gang kidnapped the 16 americans and one canadian, including five children in the group, demanding a million dollar ransom for each person. five other hostages were
previously freed. authorities tonight have now revealed anymore details on this relesion. we turn now to the economy and your money. tonight, where are the discounts this holiday? our rebecca jarvis looking and what she's found tonight. >> reporter: tonight, it's the most wonderful time for deals, but not so much this year. >> santa has got to come through. >> reporter: retailers this season holding back on the deep christmas discounts we've come to expect, offering just 5% to 25% off online. far less than years past, when you'd get 10% to 30% off. >> retailers are now at the point where they're saying to themselves, we've had all of these deep discounts earlier, now we're starting to pull back a little bit more and a little bit more. >> reporter: for savvy bargain hunters, the trick is knowing where to shop. >> this year, i'm ready. i'll be done tonight. >> reporter: we found this air fryer now $35, 50% off at best buy. these men's sneakers now 50% off at nike.com. and this 75-inch smart tv now
$200 off at target. david, even though the deals are harder to spot and inflation is near a 40-year high, experts are predicting consumers will spend a record amount this holiday season, as much as $859 billion, up 10.5% from last year. given all that pent up demand from the pandemic. david? >> all right, rebecca jarvis, thank you. when we come back, the images tonight. the fire at a new york city apartment building. the escape from an upper floor. and the breaking headline tonight involving actor alec baldwin and the search warrant. ♪ ♪ ♪ the ride of your life is closer than you think. for the first time ever, buy your new car entirely from home with nissan@home. delivered direct from dealer to driveway. ♪
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don't pause a moment longer. ask your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia today. tiktok is now on l-g t-the kick taking place in the u-k germany finally tonight, the medal of honor for three american heroes. tonight, three soldiers, three heroes honored. army sergeant first class alwin cash. the first plaque service member to be awarded the medal of honor, the military's highest combat distinction since the vietnam war. sergeant cash pulling his fellow soldiers from their burning vehicle in iraq after it was hit by a roadside bomb. he insisted his soldiers be evacuated before him. he died from injuries in that fire. the army saying he saved at
least seven lives. his sister. >> this award means that his name, his legacy, will go down in history. it means that every soldier is going to know his story. >> today, his widow tamara receiving the medal of honor from the president. >> alwin cash was a soldier's soldier. a warrior who literally walked through fire for his troops. he was a hero. >> master sergeant earl plumley. honored for his bravery in afghanistan a marine, a member of the first special forces group, plumlee took on suicide bombers when a military base was bombed in 2013. >> i remember thinking, they were going to kill me, and i was kind of holding firm to wanting to create space or make enough difference for my brothers that were with me, that they would have a chance to kind of overcome those guys. >> and shannon solis accepting the medal of honor for her father, army sergeant first class christopher solis.
her mother katie right beside her. sergeant solis on his fifth deployment, this time in afghanistan when the medical evacuation helicopter he was protecting came under fire. sergeant celiz was shot as the aircraft lifted off. he waved off the helicopter so they would be out of danger. his wife, katie. >> he was selfless. he also had hope that others would always do what was was not because it was expected of you. you did it because it was the right thing to do. >> tonight, a nation honoring its heroes. and we honor them, too. i'll see you tomorrow. good night.
>> good afternoon. you are abc 7 news at 4:00 4:000 today, santa clara county officials announced 10 new cases, the most of any bay area county. alameda county confirmed seven cases. san francisco was the first in the u.s. to diagnose an omicron case. dustin dorsey has the warning and growing concern about omicron from santa clara county officials. >> omicron is here. it is changing the outlook for
health officer dr. sarah cody, fully masked. dr. cody with a concerning warning after seeing cases rise worldwide. >> when i look around the corner ahead, what i see is the day lucia of omicron. -- at deluge of omicron. perhaps one of the most challenging moments we have had yet. >> omicron is present at some level throughout the county, according to -- 10 confirmed cases, four on vaccinator, five vaccinated. >> what we think is going to happen is a big omicron we've surge on top of delta. >> what can we do? >> be recommend booster shots are everybody eligible. >> only 44% are -- and e data shows